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In Season Now : Beetroot

Christine (Amina) Benlafquih gives us the lowdown on this season’s humble beetroot.

Beetroot is the red or purplish-hued edible root of the Beta vulgaris plant. Naturally sweet and juicy, this humble and oft-overlooked vegetable is actually a superfood which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifier. They are rich in folate, manganese, fibre, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and iron.


Tip: Select small to medium beetroots, avoiding those with shrivelled skin. Beetroot may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight bag for two or three weeks; the greens, if fresh, should be stored separately and eaten within several days. Grate raw beetroot to add to salads or juice raw beets for use in beverages. Steaming, boiling or roasting beets will transform beetroot from firm to buttery soft in texture; avoid overcooking, though, as the nutritional value will decrease proportionately to the cooking time. Note that the skin of boiled or steamed beetroots is easy to remove.


Quick Recipe: A simple but delicious beetroot salad is made by boiling whole beets (scrub well first) until fork-tender. Drain, slide off the skin, and slice or chop the beets as desired. Toss the beets with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Slivered onion may be added as a garnish.


Christine Amina Benlafquih writes on varied topics including religion, food, health and culture. You can find more of her work on the web at Moroccan Food at About.com http://moroccanfood.about.com